Paul Butler (bishop)

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The Right Reverend
Paul Butler
Bishop of Durham
Church Church of England
Diocese Durham
Installed 22 February 2014
Predecessor Justin Welby
Other posts Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham (2010–2014)
Bishop of Southampton (2004–2009)
Orders
Ordination 1983
Consecration 24 June 2004[1]
Personal details
Born (1955-09-18) 18 September 1955 (age 61)
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Spouse Rosemary[2]
Children 4
Alma mater University of Nottingham

Paul Roger Butler (born 18 September 1955) is the Bishop of Durham in the Diocese of Durham. His election was confirmed on 20 January 2014[3] and he was installed and enthroned in Durham Cathedral on 22 February 2014. On 12 September 2013 it was announced that he had been appointed as Bishop-designate of Durham (succeeding Justin Welby.)[4] He was previously Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham.[5] He was installed at Southwell Minster on 27 February 2010.[6] He served as the Bishop suffragan of Southampton in the Diocese of Winchester from 2004 until 2010.[7]

Early life[edit]

Butler was educated at Kingston Grammar School and received a BA in English and history with honours from Nottingham University in 1977. He worked for the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF) in their Bookstall Service (1978–1980) before training for Ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford from 1980–1983.

Ordained ministry[edit]

He served his curacy between 1983 and 1987 at All Saints with Holy Trinity in Wandsworth in the Diocese of Southwark. He then moved to Scripture Union to become Inner London Evangelist, holding this post until 1992. Between 1992 and 1994 he was Deputy Head of Mission at Scripture Union. Between 1987 and 1994, he was also a non-stipendiary minister at St Paul's East Ham in the Diocese of Chelmsford.[citation needed]

Butler then moved to the Diocese of Chelmsford. Between 1994 and 1997 he was priest-in-charge of St. Mary's Church, Walthamstow with St Stephen's and St Luke's, becoming Team Rector of Walthamstow in 1997 until 2004. He was also Area Dean of Waltham Forest from 2000 to 2004 and was appointed an honorary canon of Byumba in Rwanda in 2001.

Episcopal ministry[edit]

He was consecrated by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, at St Paul's Cathedral on 24 June 2004[1] and then installed at Winchester Cathedral on 4 July 2004.[1] As well as being the Bishop of Southampton from 2004, Butler also acts as an "Advocate for Children" amongst the bishops of the Church of England and as chairman of the Churches National Safeguarding Committee.[8]

Butler is known for his annual "prayer-walks" in which he spends a week each year walking round a part of his diocese praying with local people.[9]

Personal life and other work[edit]

He was a trustee of the Church Mission Society from 2000 to 2010 and its chairman from 2008 to 2010. He regularly visits Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda,[10] and visited Natal, South Africa in January 2011 as part of a diocesan visit.[11]

He has also served the YMCA at Forest (1995–2004), Southampton (2004–09), Nottingham (2010–13), Teesdale (2014-present).[citation needed]

In 2012 he was appointed President of Scripture Union, the charity he had worked for from 1987 to 1994.[12]

He is a patron of the Scargill Movement (which operates Scargill House)[13] as well as the Nottingham-based charity the Ear Foundation.[14]

In March 2015, The Independent reported that Butler had reported former Conservative MP Enoch Powell as being involved with a Westminster paedophile ring in the 1980s (although there was no basis in fact for this allegation). Simon Heffer who has published a biography of Powell has described the allegation as a "monstrous lie" and criticised the Church of England's actions in "putting this smear into the public domain". The police have found no evidence to support the Bishop's allegation.[15]

Safeguarding controversy and the Elliott Review[edit]

Butler was the bishop at the centre of the Elliott Review which led to damning headlines across UK media in March 2016.[16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] The review ushered in major change to the church's response to survivors of church sex abuse, and condemned as "reckless" the way in which Butler cut contact with a survivor following advice from insurers to limit liability. The highly critical report concluded there had been a string of “deeply disturbing” failures by senior Church of England figures, including the office of Archbishop Welby. It highlighted the need for all bishops to be urgently retrained.[23][24] The church described the review "embarrassing and uncomfortable". [25] The survivor called Butler's response “inadequate" [26] and in a public letter [27][28] urged him to lead a call for repentance across the House of Bishops.

Publications[edit]

He has a number of publications, including Reaching Children (1992), Reaching Families (1995) (both Scripture Union); Temptation & Testing (SPCK, 2007) and is a contributor to Through the Eyes of a Child (Church House 2009). His most recent publication is Living Your Confirmation (SPCK, 2012).

Titles and styles[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c BBC News — New bishop appointed
  2. ^ Diocese of Winchester — About Bishop Paul
  3. ^ "Election of Paul Butler as 74th Bishop of Durham confirmed in service". Northern Echo. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham – Downing Street announces that the next Bishop of Durham is to be Paul Butler (Accessed 12 September 2013)
  5. ^ CMS article on appointment to Southwell and Nottingham (Archived) (Announcement: 29 June 2009; archived 24 February 2012; archive accessed 16 December 2015)
  6. ^ Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham Press Release — Drummers and dancers to welcome new Bishop
  7. ^ BBC News reports on Bishop Paul's appointment
  8. ^ Bishop Paul Butler speech to General Synod 2013 as Chair of the Churches National Safeguarding Committee
  9. ^ Bishop Paul Butler Prayer Walk in Southwell Diocese 2013
  10. ^ Number 10 – Suffragan See of Southampton (archived)
  11. ^ Bishop Paul Butler Natal Visit – blog [1]
  12. ^ Bishop Paul Butler president of Scripture Union
  13. ^ Scargill Movement Patrons
  14. ^ The Ear Foundation
  15. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3017207/Enoch-Powell-accused-satanic-sex-abuse-Bishop-Durham-gave-Met-detectives.html
  16. ^ Harriet Sherwood (15 March 2016). "Damning report reveals Church of England failure to act on abuse". The Guardian. 
  17. ^ Sean O'Neill (15 March 2016). "Welby's staff ignored abuse to save money". The Times. 
  18. ^ Martin Evans (15 March 2016). "Archbishop of Canterbury's office criticised for 'ignoring' abuse complaints". The Telegraph. 
  19. ^ Tim Wyatt (18 March 2016). "Abuse case turns spotlight on to flawed C of E safeguarding practices". Church Times. 
  20. ^ "Dozens of Church of England officials ignored sex abuse victim 'for decades' despite being told of horrific abuse at hands of paedophile clergyman". Daily Mail. 16 March 2016. 
  21. ^ "Church of England figures ignored sadistic abuse of 15-year-old boy by senior priest for 40 years, report says". The Independent. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  22. ^ Ruth Gledhill (15 March 2016). "Sex abuse case review highlights damning Church of England failures". Christian Today. 
  23. ^ "Senior clergy must be retrained to deal with sex abuse disclosures". The Guardian. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  24. ^ "Church of England clergy need 'systematic retraining' on dealing with sex abuse reports". International Business Times. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
  25. ^ "Church of England Rocked by 'Deeply Disturbing' Sex Abuse Report". Christian Post. 16 March 2016. 
  26. ^ "Bishop of Durham 'needs retraining' after victim claims his response to abuse claim was inadequate". Northern Echo. 
  27. ^ "Joe's letter to the House of Bishops of the Church of England". Surviving Church. Stephen Parsons. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  28. ^ "Bishops must repent for inaction on child abuse, says survivor". Church Times. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016. 
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Jonathan Gledhill
Bishop of Southampton
2004–2009
Succeeded by
Jonathan Frost
Preceded by
George Cassidy
Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham
2010–2014
Succeeded by
Paul Williams
Preceded by
Justin Welby
Bishop of Durham
2014–present
Incumbent